Students plan alcohol awareness campaign

Katherine Martin

A group of 18 advertising and public relations students from the University were selected to pilot the LessThanUThink Campaign, a student-led campaign based on the idea that students will not change their views on overconsumption of alcohol until they are aware of what constitutes overconsumption.

LessThanUThink looks to increase awareness about the undesired situations and consequences overconsumption of alcohol can bring, as well as increase the number of students who will consider moderating their drinking patterns, according to a press release.

            The Century Council, a leader in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking, granted $75,000 to the project to cover all aspects of the campaign, including advertising, on-campus initiatives, bar initiates, personnel costs and testing and evaluation costs, according to the release.

            The University was selected as one of four schools nationwide to apply its award-winning campaign as a local test for a possible nationwide launch. 

“The LessThanUThink campaign was the only campaign to both place in the 2009 American Advertising Federation’s National Student Advertising Competition and to receive the grant from The Century Council,” said Amanda Coppock, a senior majoring in public relations and the media relations coordinator for the project.

At the end of the year, The Century Council will choose one campaign to be implemented on campuses nationwide.

            Coppock said students applied for the project last semester and will work on it in place of a public relations campaigns class.

            “I felt that I would get so much more experience from something that was actually going to be implemented,” she said.

Allison Cook, a senior majoring in public relations and student coordinator for the campaign, said she joined the group because she wanted real world experience in the public relations field.

“How many students can say they’ve conducted a real full-scale integrated communications campaign for a national client?” Cook said. “This isn’t just pitching an idea, it’s been given $75,000 to implement every aspect of the campaign,” she said.

The student-run campaign will begin this semester and is aimed at 18- to 24-year-old college students who consume alcohol.

Coppock said members of the group have decided on Sept. 2 as the day to begin pushing the campaign by putting up flyers and hosting campus-wide events.

“This summer, we’ve been preparing and planning ahead for events in the fall,” she said. “So far, we’ve passed out newsletters to freshmen living in the dorms as part of our soft launch.”

            As PR Week Magazine’s top-ranked undergraduate public relations program in the U.S. for the second year in a row, the release stated, the college prides itself on providing unique opportunities for students.